LA-Z-Man’s way to live

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Pace yourself tonight with that magnum of cheap champagne, and you’ll be rewarded with two straight weekend days of nonstop suds-sloshing action.

Tomorrow: Reduce brain function with a Mummers tune-up, then slip into a day-long stupor with 36 separate college bowl games.

Sunday: Remain comatose with another dozen or so NFL games that will decide which 8-8 team will lose in the first round of the playoffs.

Friends, that’s a lot of football, and that’s a lot of sitting around. We’re talking endless hours of gape-mouthed paralysis, the kind of motion-free inertia that flat-lines all signs of biological function.

To survive it, you need a comfy place to rest your keister. Deep cushions, plush fabric, large arms to balance a bowl of chips, and maybe an ottoman for the dip.

I thought I had this perfected some time ago with a big, over-stuffed couch firmly planted within 6 feet of the TV.

Then I got married.

The sofa was ugly, she complained. It didn’t match the “decor,” by which I presume she meant it looked as if it had recently housed a family of squirrels.

The couch was banished and abruptly replaced with. . .a love seat!

Too short to stretch out on, too confining for XL types, a love seat is the football-watching equivalent of disembowelment. I loathe to admit it, but Joe Sixpack was eviscerated.

The old couch had been a mammoth fixture, a physical and spiritual foundation that defined my being. The love seat was, dare I say, dainty?

Weekend afternoons were living hell. No lounging, no slumping, no idle hours of mindless relaxation. I had to sit up straight.

“And use a coaster for that beer,” she’d warn.

Word got around. Friends mocked me. “Did you enjoy that Stockard Channing movie on Lifetime last night?” they’d tease.

My back aching and my manhood at stake, I finally turned for help from the experts:


In the world of relaxation, these guys are the indisputable pros. They are the Babe Ruth of reclining. Their very name defines the essence of sitting around and drinking beer and watching TV.

Say it to yourself: La-Z-Boy. . .La-Z-Boy. . .it’s hypnotic, like Dunkin’ Donuts or Sansabelt.

Anyway, after a few minutes of man-to-man talk, the guy at the La-Z-Boy factory suggested I try out their newest recliner, the Oasis. I test-drove it a couple weeks this fall when the Eagles were in middle of their free fall.

Let’s just say the Oasis is top-of-the-line relaxation, the Cadillac of recliners. The only things missing are fins and fuzzy dice for the rearview mirror. Stuffed fatter than Andy Reid after Thanksgiving, this baby’s wing span is 41 inches from arm to arm. Under the hood, it features 10 vibrating motors and a heat system to massage you into la-la land.

But what caught the attention of Joe Sixpack, the People Paper’s voice of the beer-drinking public, is the built-in electric cooler.

It’s not every chair that comes with its own refrigerator.

Flip up one of its arms, and you’ll find room to chill six cans. Hidden under the other is a hand-held controller for the massager and a telephone with caller ID.

Self-sufficiency is the idea here. Stocked with a healthy supply of cold ones and a telephone that lets you ignore bill collectors, you could camp out in this recliner for the entire New Year’s weekend – as long as you don’t have to flush.

The Oasis is not without its flaws, however.

For one thing, the cooler won’t fit long-necks.

And for another, there’s the missus.

“It’s too big!” she cried. The La-Z-Boy was deported abruptly.

Tears welled in my eyes when the movers carted it away. I had always thought there were two things in life that cannot be too big.

One of ’em is a man’s chair.

The other?

A cold glass of beer, naturally.

Now, where’s that love seat?

Joe Sixpack, by Staff Writer Don Russell, was written this week with a glass of Young’s Old Nick.


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